( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Foster to Forever: An Initiative to Find Permanent Homes for Sheltered Animals
ENSPIRE Contributor: Amanda Hirsch
There has never been a better time to adopt a pet than right now in quarantine. With people working from home and social-distancing from friends and family, taking care of a pet can provide the necessary boredom-relief and companionship that we are all craving in isolation. Accordingly, many adoption centers and pet shelters have been reporting increases in fostering and adoptions since the beginning of the mandated quarantine.
A concern that shelters share is that adoptions will decrease after the stay-at-home mandate ends and people are called back to work. Another common worry is that people will realize that with the current state of the economy, they are not financially stable enough to support a pet. With these factors in mind, Mars Petcare, an American global manufacturer of pet food and supplies and a provider of pet care, started a new program called Foster to Forever to secure homes for sheltered animals.
Being the 6th largest privately-owned company in the United States, Mars Petcare was sure to launch Foster to Forever in a bold way. The first phase of the program began on May 28 via Instagram live with over 10 celebrities, including Colton Underwood and LeAnn Rimes, introducing their furry friends and talking about what having a pet companion during this time has meant to them.
The next phase was characterized by donations. Foster to Forever kits, consisting of treats, wet and dry food, coupons, vouchers for free veterinary visits, toys, and educational information, were donated to over 1,000 pet owners who would agree to provide a forever home. These kits were donated to areas around the country that were more adversely affected by COVID-19, such as Chicago and New Orleans.
The unique part about these kits is that they brought together several different pet brands that have rarely collaborated before. Companies such as Pedigree, Temptations, Royal Canin, Whistle, and Banfield Pet Hospital donated their products, services, and knowledge so that people could feel more confident and supported in their endeavors to permanently adopt a pet.
While people are abiding by stay-at-home mandates, it is no surprise that the loneliness and boredom have really started to set in. To feel less lonely and a little more loved, many people have turned to adopt pets. Mars Petcare’s Foster to Forever program aims to ensure that new and experienced pet parents are equipped to continue to provide a permanent home for their pets.